The local newspapers have been filled with photos and reports on the first anniversary of the tsunami and that has given everyone living in this region a moment to reflect on the tragedy. The first news reports on 26th December 2004 gave no real indication of the dimension of the number of people killed and the cities leveled. It took hours and then days and weeks for the facts to emerge and to this day only a range is given for the dead: 180,000 to 230,000 people. That is 50,000 people who may have died but no one is sure. In Aceh the dead were buried in mass graves. I watched the BBC for hours as the foreign reports carried news from the entire region. The anguish on the face of survivors and rescue workers remains a haunting image. In Gambling on Magic, the tsunami features in the background, providing a lingering, evil pulse to the actions of one of the characters. Writing these pages was one way for me to understand the scale of this massive number of dead. Six months earlier, my wife and I had spent a week in a resort which, as it turned out, was right in the path of the huge waves. My thoughts turned to the staff of the resort and what must have been a terrible fate.